blogger

breaking-up

I recently heard about  a brand officially breaking up with a blogger. Not because the blogger did anything wrong, but because the brand believed the blogger was not longer of value. Did the blogger still blog? Yes…but less frequently, in exchange for strength in other social platforms like Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and more. She is publishing where her audience is engaging- since blog readers are falling off rapidly for all blogs as social platforms grow. Her digital footprint is actually far broader than when the brand relationship started. In fact you could say easily she is much more influential now, than when she began her relationship with the brand.

But alas, the brand- chose to rank self-reported blog analytics* far more valuable than diversity in audience, category exposure or the power of off-line influence. In essence, the brand was taking a narrow, small minded view of what it means to be influential. They were applying traditional media rules sitting around stuffy board rooms asking “what are the blogger’s impressions? What is her reach?” instead of seeking out the true influence indicator which is the ratio between reach and digital engagement across all channels. They weren’t placing weighted value on those social actions taken by the blogger’s audience based on her recommendations.  Who cares if a blogger is ‘talking’ to a million people if NO ONE IS LISTENING. Reach is a lie. Sadly the brand wasn’t taking any of that evolved thinking into consideration and seem to be stuck in a 2005 approach to working with influencers.

And I feel sorry for this brand. When Influencer Relationship Marketing began, this brand’s simplistic approach was the norm. But great brands (Nintendo comes to mind) have moved past that- building networks of advocates across categories and all with a range of reach. Brands doing great IRM work understand that relationships drive advocacy, and advocacy drives action. Chasing reach is the ‘antiquated’ way of approaching IRM and great brands are now wise enough to be looking to work with ‘power middle’ influencers, who offer personal platform communities that act on recommendations versus those who profess high reach alone.

The worst part of the story is how the brand has interpreted ‘brand loyalty’. Brands want influencers to be endlessly loyal – and yet they are willing to walk away from the blogger when their profile or digital footprint changes. Apparently ‘loyalty’ is not a two way thing with this brand….which means the brand isn’t really practicing influencer REALTIONSHIP management.  They seem to be practicing influencer TRANSACTION management; to use influencers as long as they fill up their Excel column that says ‘blog reach’ so they can justify event and program spending.  Buying temporary influence based on single data points does not generate sustained advocacy. And without that as a goal-then why bother?

So what happens when a blogger gets the official break up notice? In this case, it was a brand the blogger had worked with for many years- creating content and becoming highly associated as an expert on the brand. Fielding emails from readers for advice weekly. It is likely she will remain quiet and not let others know that the brand no longer believes she is valuable. She may choose to remove past publications, videos and posts as there is no reason the brand should continue to benefit from her SEO halo. In most cases bloggers who have been treated this way appear to go away quietly…until they have something negative to say. Perhaps a brand crisis or newsworthy issue will draw the rebuked blogger back to her screen to speak negatively about the brand. Which is ironically when the brand will take notice at the individuals level of influence again.

At that moment the brand will scratch their head and think ‘oh maybe we made a mistake’. But it will be too late. Because their advocate is now a BADvocate- and there is little that can be done once a blogger has been scorned by a brand.

It is a cautionary tale for brands to understand what it means to be in a relationship with your influencer networks. Like any relationship it should be based on trust and commitment. From both sides. It doesn’t mean it is a permanent relationship- but it does mean you should clearly define your thresholds and parameters UPFRONT, so both parties know when it might no longer be a good fit. Think of it as an influencer pre-nup.

And to the blogger who was dissed by the brand? Don’t worry- they will regret the decision to leave you for the new shiny blogger who is inflating her numbers, leaving fake comments on her own blog posts and practically begging friends to engage with her content. Before long the brand will understand the value you brought to the social conversation with your integrity and high quality coverage.

In fact-just check your email. 

I am sure you will have a better offer, from a better brand by tomorrow.

breakup


*There is no technology, software or tool that can show brands the actual page views of any blog. EVER. And if you are a brand who is using ‘Compete.com’ please know that my research has shown these numbers to be off up to 800%. In both directions. Which means you are missing out on very influential people, and working with others who do not reach your thresholds. In order to determine ‘influence’ the entire digital footprint needs to be evaluated and the ratios BETWEEN data points are what matter most. You likely need a professional for this. Hire a smart agency. I happen to know one. Just ask.

 

The thoughts in this post are mine
alone and do not reflect the beliefs
of my employer.

 

Disney, Disneyland, Disneyworld, PR, Halloween, Mickey’s Party, blogger,

BlogHer 2012: Planning for success beyond what shoes to wear.

IMG_5737

In a few weeks I will be walking the streets of one of my favorite cities; New York. I will be there for BlogHer 2012, which is a ginormous (3500+ attendees) conference that is focus on female bloggers and social influencers. Okay fine- I’ll say it…it is largely focused on MOMMY bloggers (I want to [...]

Oh you gotta read the rest….

Hell has frozen over. Plan accordingly

image

So I was on the cover of a magazine the other day. Did I forget to mention that? And I was also featured on the inside too. You can read the article here There is this tagline area just under my name that made me giggle. I don’t know if I have ever been described [...]

Oh you gotta read the rest….

Blogger gets Academy Award for her performance as Disney fan.

Marcyoscarp

Finally I got an Oscar. And I would like to thank the Academy, my mom and the members of D23 for this honor. No seriously….er,  comedically… Recently, I was given a wonderful opportunity to tour Disney Studios and learn more about the official fan club for Disney folks. Not just for Disney movie fans, or [...]

Oh you gotta read the rest….

Chris O’Donnell made a video for the Glamorous Life members!

_MG_2195

As most of you know- I am the digital voice of Lunchables (as a Weber Shandwick employee) and recently had an opportunity to write an entire script for Chris O’Donnell! Okay fine …not really a script…more like a 30 sec video spot. But whatever…I don’t care, I am pretty much gonna tell my grandkids that [...]

Oh you gotta read the rest….

I have never liked being a girl. And why I am not a mommy blogger.

00000028

I have never really liked being a girl. Wait back up- I liked BEING a girl, just never liked being segregated for it. My first of a million examples: In second grade I went storming into Mr. Greens office (our school principal) and protested the fact that I was told I was not permitted to [...]

Oh you gotta read the rest….

The official guide to Facebook profile pics.

FBkizzy_lhasa_apso

Along with this new world of social media, comes new unspoken rules and understandings. One of the most significant aspects of all social sites (Twitter, Facebook, Linked in etc) is the Profile Picture. Not to make you stress over it more than you already do, but CHOOSE carefully. That pic tells the internet a lot [...]

Oh you gotta read the rest….

It’s not like I didn’t believe in my own son. Well actually, it is.

IMG_6336

This week my boys go into their Little League AAA play-offs. They are going in as the first place team. Which is kinda astonishing to me. You see, Jack took 3 years off from sports. He played baseball one year and to say he ‘wasn’t all that good’ would be an understatement. It was the [...]

Oh you gotta read the rest….

Amish Mom in the OC

I am excited to report that a very good friend of mine is coming for a visit at the end of the month. She keeps changing the dates on me, because she thinks I have nothing to do with my life but sit around and wait for her to show up and visit me, but [...]

Oh you gotta read the rest….